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  • PACC needs more foster homes to help homeless pets

    Mar 14, 2017 | Read More News
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    tiny kittenWith spring overcrowding season fast approaching at Pima Animal Care Center, officials from the County’s only open-admission shelter say they urgently need homes for its two most vulnerable pet populations: tiny underaged dogs and cats and big dogs.

    While PACC currently saves more than 90 percent of the pets in its care overall, neonatal puppies and kittens, and large dogs remain the most likely pets to fall behind. Foster parents can help close this critical lifesaving gap by temporarily opening up their hearts and homes to care for these needy pets. 

    “Thanks to our supporters, we can often provide foster parents with all the food, formula and supplies they need, and we always provide complete medical care for our foster pets,” PACC director of community engagement, Justin Gallick, said. “We just need you to open your heart and home!”

    Warm weather generally brings a surge of litters into PACC. In 2016 alone, PACC received about 5,219 puppies and kittens. Those under four weeks old require around-the-clock care not sustainable in a shelter environment. For instance, kittens not only require frequent bottle-feeding, but also need a heated incubator to keep their body temperature from crashing to dangerous levels. 

    Individuals interested in becoming foster parents should apply on PACC’s website. However, those seeking to foster young pets, must also attend a training. Additionally, they must commit to care for the pets until they are old enough to be altered and placed for adoption.

    Dr. Rios and pitbull with castVeteran foster parent Donna Vining, who has cared for dozens of litters of bottle-baby puppies said the process is infinitely rewarding.

    “Each puppy, every litter, teaches me something new,” Vining said. “And I always have the PACC foster coordinator, other shelter staff, and veterinary crew if I need them.”

    The emergence of spring also causes overcrowded kennels at PACC. The shelter can humanely house about 400 pets, and in the summer, the number of pets needing housing can reach up to 900. Large dogs, in particular, do not thrive in these overcrowded and stressful environments, and end up overlooked by adopters. 

    To help alleviate the problem, Foster Coordinator Ellie Beaubien recently launched a big dog foster program. 

    “In a home environment, the dogs have time to decompress and show their true personalities, which makes it easier for them to find adoptive homes through offsite adoptions or social media networking,” Beaubien said. 

    Those interested in fostering big dogs should apply in person at the shelter because, in most cases, they can take home a dog that same day and attend a general foster orientation at the soonest available date. 

    In addition to fostering bottle babies and big dogs, PACC has other opportunities available for pets of all ages and sizes. These pets are generally recovering from broken bones or other medical conditions. Learn more about PACC’s foster program.

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